LOVER - Album review

September 09, 2019

Having been a proud swiftie since I was 12 years old, I thought I should finally give a try to album reviewing. Starting with Taylor Swift's new release Lover. The much-anticipated album dropped on the 23rd of August after months of teasing following the release of ME! featuring Brendon Urie of PATD! fame. In this review, I have included my initial thoughts from the first time I heard it on the 23rd and a more in-depth look into what I thought about each song on the album.

I Forgot That You Existed: (initial thoughts) Mood, iconic, LOVE this.

This song is very much about her relationship with Scottish DJ Calvin Harris and I love how it shows her process of moving on and forgetting about the hurt that relationship caused, especially after he publicly sided with Katy Perry and the Kardashian West’s when they accused Taylor of lying and playing the victim in summer 2016.
I love how it shows a familiar path of letting go of any feeling of a person who did you wrong, them going from someone who you spend energy thinking about, to someone who just exists somewhere apart from you.

Iconic lines: “In my feelings more than drake” & “It isn’t love, it isn’t hate it’s just indifference”

Cruel Summer: (initial thoughts) Relatable as f.

I feel like this too is about summer 2016, where we saw Taylor go from Bleachella with Calvin to visiting the English shores with Tom Hiddleston just weeks post-breakup. This latter relationship only lasting 3 months, making it in my eyes a summer fling. I feel this song is about the relationship but also the turmoil she faced with the Kardashian West’s. 
This song has a particular moody feel, which reminds me of reputation which was about the struggles she faced that year whilst trying to keep up her reputation.

Iconic lines: “I love you, ain’t that the worst thing you ever heard?” & “No rules in a breakable heaven”

Lover: (initial thoughts) Makes me want to slow dance in my living room in PJs.

This is a gentle beautiful song. I love everything about this song, the slow dance tempo, the homey feel with the drumming and guitar. This song gives me hope and a hug and makes me excited to one day find this kind of happiness. I must thank Joe Alwyn for this song, he is truly making Taylor a happier better person.

Iconic lines: “I’ve loved you three summers now, honey, I want ‘em all” & “I take this magnetic force of a man to be my lover”

The Man: (initial thoughts) different from everything I’ve heard, but I don’t hate it. Love the message.

This is an important song to come from Taylor, after years and years of being criticised for the same actions her male counterparts have been doing. I think it’s good that she is tackling the double standards the world has for successful men and women. Granted Beyoncé did cover this in if I were a boy, but that was in the relationship light, whereas Taylor focuses on business and public image.

Iconic lines: I would have to say the entire chorus is an iconic line.
“I’m so sick of running as fast as I can, wondering if I’d get there quicker if I was a man, and I’m so sick of them coming at me again, ‘cause if I was a man, I’d be the man.” & “If I was out flashing my dollars I'd be a bitch not a baller, they’d paint me out to be bad so it's ok that I’m mad”

The Archer: (initial thoughts) not my favourite, I get the idea but it’s too slow and synth-y for my liking. 

After a few more listens I do find this song interesting. I like that its called the archer as Taylors star sign is Sagittarius which is represented by a bow and arrow, famously used by archers. I also like that it kind of links to I know places as she says “they are the hunters we are the foxes” yet in the archer she is saying she has had times where she had been the hunter too. I like how vulnerable she is at the end of the song, questioning who would want to stay with her, and asking the subject of the song to stay even if her reputation is in tatters and people are seeing through her now.

Iconic lines: “All of my enemies started out friends” & “All of my heroes die all alone”

I Think He Knows: (initial thoughts) this is a bop. My new favourite ‘I have a crush’ song.

I loved this song immediately. It has such a fun sound to it and the lyrics are fun. I think this song reminds us all that the initial feeling of a chase is universally fun, and will always remind people of their younger days where you got butterflies trying to get to know someone and feeling like they knew you liked them just by how you were around them.
Also, I learnt that Taylor and I have the same type as I too do love that boyish look when I like in a man.

Iconic lines: “I want you bless my soul, and I ain’t gotta tell him I think he knows” & “He’d better lock it down, or I won’t stick around, ‘cause good ones never wait”

Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince: (initial ramblings) fall out boy title? Halsey Badlands? Jokes aside it’s a decent song. Really liked the cheer chants in the last bit.

This also has a moodier feel to it. I know this song also has some political undertones but I am not qualified to talk about American politics. I like the high school element, a bit throwback to her fearless days, with her frequent motif of high school life with her marching band get up on tour. I think it’s also a nod to how there are cliques and a high school mentality amongst celebrities, who’s most popular by who hangs out with who, and how vicious the ‘takedowns’ can be when a popular celebrity decides to call out another. The line “they whisper in the hallway she’s a bad bad girl” also brings me back to reputation and how the world seemed against her, stopped looking at her as miss America. I like the cheering done for the lines “I don’t want you to ‘go’ I don’t really wanna ‘fight’ ‘cause nobody’s gonna ‘win’”

Iconic lines: “You play stupid games, you win stupid prizes” & “Boys will be boys, then where are the wise men”

Paper Rings: (initial thoughts) Mika? OK but I love this song, really fun and fast-paced. Could totally be used as music in a quirky romance movie. Can Joe just marry Taylor already??

I love the pop-rock sound to this song. This song is just so fun sounding and I can’t help but dance around as it plays. All the words are fun to sing along to and the chorus is beautiful and fun.
You can really tell that whoever Taylor is singing about has changed her life for the better, as the sentiment of getting married with paper rings shows she loves the person, not what the person can offer her monetarily – not that they would need to since she is so rich she has her legs insured.

Iconic lines: “Honey without all the exes, fights and flaws we wouldn’t be standing here so tall” & “In paper rings, in picture frames in all my dreams you’re the one I want”

Cornelia Street: (initial thoughts) this feels like if reputation was a love album and I’m living for it. Also, this song told me I don’t know heartbreak.

This is a soft sad song, listening to it I felt it has a familiar yet unfamiliar sentiment as Taylor sings about how if she and the subject were to break up parts of the world where they visited together would be unbearable. Which I feel is a universally felt feeling. When listening I thought this would be perfect in a teen movie where the main character is in the passenger seat of her love interests car gazing out the window and thinking about them. That's the kind of feel this song has to it for me.

Iconic lines: "It's the kind of heartbreak time could never mend" & "I get mystified by how this city screams your name"

Death By a Thousand Cuts: (initial thoughts) Mood, this is pretty relatable, I too have asked traffic lights if everything will be fine.

I found this to be a very relatable song as everyone has had a breakup that they thought would be the end of them. Taylor Swift has mentioned she wrote this song following watching the Netflix movie Someone Great, which follows a woman's breakup with a man she thought was perfect until he wasn't. I could get a feel of the hurt, as she sings about how everything is the same around her but she is stuck in the breakup. The title is a reference to an ancient torture method, which seems apt as the songs lyrics are about this woman torturing herself thinking about the man and the breakup and the sadness and confusion that comes with one.

Iconic lines: "I get drunk but it's not enough 'cause the morning comes and you're not my baby" & "You said it was a great love, one for the ages"

London Boy: (initial thoughts) WAS THAT A VOICE CAMEO FROM JOE? I bloody hope so. Taylor might as well become a UK citizen. God, she’s using British slang, I love how cute she sounds.

After another listen and a look on google, it wasn't a cameo from Joe, it was a clip from an Idris Elba interview. This is my most favourite song on the album. I love everything about it and just feel incredibly proud to live in England as Taylor rattles off about visiting Camden and hanging out in pubs watching rugby. This is my favourite song on the album, you can find me muttering "you know I love a London boy" at any time in the day. It's a very catchy, fun, upbeat song. Also, I love the way Taylor says 'I fancy you'.

Iconic lines: "They say home is where the heart is, but God I love the English" & "And now I love high tea, stories from uni and the West End"

Soon you’ll get better: (initial thoughts) more like old Taylor, a nice guitar song. Got me in my feels and I don't know why.

This song was written for her mother, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2015, then re-diagnosed with it recently. You can feel the pain in this song as Taylor begs for her mother to get better. 
This song features the Dixie Chicks, it's very stripped back, the instruments just being guitars as Taylor sings about how she prays for better health. This song is a tear-jerker.
I find this song very emotionally charging as many people have taken to trying anything to get a loved one better again, and the helplessness felt knowing they can't do anything to stop their loved one from feeling pain.

Iconic lines: "Desperate people find faith, so now I pray to Jesus too" & "What am I supposed to do if there's no you?"

False God: (initial thoughts) has a nice feel. Taylor basically saying sex is my religion, which is a mood.

The sexier mood is set with a sexy saxophone to start the song. I like how in some lines Taylor has too many words for the line, as it sounds like she's desperate to get all the words out. The comparison to her relationship being like religion, which she worships feels like a known sentiment as she's in deep with her partner like a follower of religion is in deep with their deity. 

Iconic lines: "Hell is when I fight with you" & "Religions in your lips even if it's a false god"

You Need To Calm Down: (initial thoughts) Great politics and anti-bullying theme but never been a fave of mine.

I like that this one tackles issues regarding the LGBTQ+ community but I feel like Taylor tried to tackle too much as she started the song with an anti-online bullying campaign, before dedicating the midsection of the song the LGBTQ+ issues, then the end to people pitting women against each other. I think she should have picked one topic and ran with it. 

Iconic lines: "You just need to take several seats and then try to restore the peace" & "We figured it out we all got crowns you need to calm down" 

Afterglow: (initial thoughts) my second favourite song under this title. I love the chorus, big mood.

I love that this is Taylors "I’m sorry" song. A sorry to all the partners she may have hurt. Shows real growth. I love how this song sounds, its sort of grand-sounding with the drums. 
It has a familiar sentiment as Taylor apologises for not dealing with situations well, and how she would blow up even if that's not what she intended to do. The afterglow being the time after the fight where they seem to make up and clear the air.

Iconic lines: "Fighting with a true love is boxing with no gloves" & "Why'd I have to break what I love so much?"

ME!: (initial thoughts) bit childish sounding for me. Liked Taylor's verse but the rest of the song is meh.

I liked how she removed the "Hey kids, spelling is fun!" from the song, although there is an awkward gap in the song before she says "you can't spell awesome without me".
I do genuinely like Taylor's first verse and I don't mind Brendon Urie on the track but it just feels like something they would play to children about being unique individuals, even if it is about not finding another partner like me. I think its the grand band playing in the background and the bright colourful video that goes along with it.

Iconic lines: "I'm the only one of me, baby that's the fun of me" & "Trouble's gonna follow where I go"

It’s Nice To Have a Friend: (initial thoughts) immediately liked this song. Max relatable. Feels like if best day grew up and changed focus from family to friends.

this song uses the chorus and band from Taylor's old school which is a sweet touch as she begins the story at school meeting a friend.
This is the shortest song on the album, with a simple lyric structure and the chorus is "It's nice to have a friend." repeated once. But it conveys this sad happiness as she recounts moments where she felt she had a friend. Which following the incident in 2016 must have been a feeling she reminisced on as the world seemed to turn against her.
I personally love this song for its gentle instrumental feel.

Daylight: (initial thoughts) VV uplifting. Has the feel of clean but happier.

This is an uplifting, hopeful sounding song to round off the album. It focuses on Taylor looking back on her previous relationships and looking at her current one and seeing how it took a few bad apples for her to find the best one. Comparing her current lover to daylight, the sun ending the night that was her past relationships. I like that this is the last song as it gives us a hopeful look into Taylors life and makes me excited that her next album will just be happiness and love, which Lover has been.

Iconic lines: "I wounded the good and only trusted the wicked" & "I don't wanna look at anything else now that I saw you"

I find this album sonically cohesive overall, even though I do believe there a few outliers. Taylor has once again proved to be a masterful lyricist and I love that she has decided to tackle some themes once untouched like politics and the double standards between men and women. Taylor and Jack Antonoff have proved to be musical masters and I can’t help but be excited by the album and each song on it as I keep listening. This is a tour I would love to go to, living in England I think it will be a wonderful experience screaming along to London boy in a London arena. As well as dancing along to paper rings and I forgot that you existed. 

I loved her references to her previous songs throughout the album. I think it’s just a beautiful album musically and with the packaging, and the pastel clouds and glittery lover. There are a few skips amongst the songs but overall a new favourite album for me.

Go stream Lover by Taylor Swift!

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